After what seemed like a lifetime of adversity, I had finally found love, a beautiful wife, a home, meaningful work, gratitude, inner peace.
Then came a lethal combination of toxic mold poisoning and lyme disease. The long-term antibiotics ravaged my immune system to AIDS levels. I was frequently in urgent care and four times in the hospital. I often had spasms in my throat that prevented me from breathing for 30 or 40 seconds at a stretch.
I'll never forget the stone cold look of death on the doctors' faces as they reviewed my medical reports and told me there was nothing more they could do. I was still in my forties when I wrote my will and prepared to die.
As a last ditch effort, a team of holistic doctors gave me over 400 infusions, transfusions, and experimental treatments that left me incapacitated for days. I went deep into prayer and meditation, and had what became my life’s epiphany — that beauty begins in darkness, and that suffering is our common soil.
Slowly, during 18 months of intense treatments, I began to heal. But not just on the outside. Something shifted inside. The (inner) Garden became for me something more than a metaphor. A seed has one destiny. Pepitas become pumpkins. An acorn becomes an oak tree. But the seed of the human spirit has infinite possibilities. You can blossom in any way you can imagine.
As I regained my health, and it was springtime in my soul again, I got a called last Mother's day, that my beloved brother and bunkmate for the first 12 years of my life committed suicide. Another winter, another season of darkness.
And then, as I held my phone in my hands, I had a sudden epiphany — that 8 people I am close to and speak with regularly have lost a child. And many more I speak with yearly have lost a child. I felt an even deeper connection to all these beautiful people in my life — people who have known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the darkness.
The metaverse is about to inject an extraordinary new magic into the great human drama. Magic our greatest science fiction writers could barely imagine. But will our new magic help us find our way out of the darkness? Will it spark a Renaissance of love and wisdom?
Oprah likes to ask, "What do you know for sure?" My answer: "Love never dies. It hides. It sleeps. It passes through long winters. But never once in a million years has love not seen another spring. A new spring is coming -- for sure."